"I'm living on SSI, so I need so more money but with help from these people, and they are very good, I can survive," Kalew said.
The center now helps over 100 more seniors with monthly assistance. Organizers said the growing numbers are a sign of the times, which is why, for the first time, the local charity California Community Foundation promised to give over $500,000 of their donations to over two dozen nonprofits that need it the most. They're now asking for the public's help to raise another $100,000.
"People have depleted their savings, they've lost their jobs. They're having a very hard time making ends meet. And one piece of small assistance can actually make a huge difference in their lives," said Terri Mosqueda, director of donor relations at the California Community Foundation.
The Pasadena Senior Center will be using their grant money to fund their monthly food distribution program and to help those recently unemployed members ages 50 to 62.
But adults aren't the only ones that need help. At the Altadena Christian Children's Center, 10 percent of students have recently been pulled out of the day care program because parents have lost their jobs and can't afford the tuition.
"It's a catch 22 because if they don't have childcare, they can't look for work. They can't do the things they need to do to get their resume ready, to get the skills they need, to train, to go to school," said Toni Boucher, director of the Altadena Christian Children's Center.
Now with up to $35,000 in grant money coming to this day care, those families should be able to bring their children back. It's just a little bit of help that will go a long way this holiday season.